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Air India fined Rs 10 L for denying boarding, compensation to flyers

NEW DELHI, June 15: The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has fined Air India airline Rs 10 lakh for denying boarding to passengers holding valid tickets and reporting at the airport on time, and not compensating them. The denial of boarding usually occurs when there is excess booking of tickets.

The aviation regulator said on Tuesday that the lapse on the part of the now Tata Group-owned Air India is “of serious concern and unacceptable”. The DGCA said it found out that Air India does not have a policy on denied boarding and is not paying any compensation to the passengers.

"After going through submissions of the airline, as part of enforcement action, the competent authority has levied a penalty of Rs 10 lakh. In addition, the airline has been advised to immediately put the systems in place to resolve the issue, failing which further action shall be taken by DGCA," the regulator said in a statement.

“In the case of Air India -- where the regulation is not being followed -- a show cause notice was issued to the Airline and also a personal hearing was afforded. It appears that the airline does not have a policy in this regard and is not paying any compensation to hapless passengers, whose numbers can be anybody’s guess,” the DGCA said.

It said certain airlines are not following the guidelines on compensation. The regulator had made a series of checks at Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi after receiving compalaints.

Passengers who are denied boarding and can't be provided with a ticket on an alternative flight departing within one hour of the original flight's departure need to be compensated, as per DGCA rules.

The compensation is 200 per cent of the basic fare plus fuel charges in case the alternative flight is scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the original flight's departure. The compensation increases to 400 per cent of the basic fare plus fuel charges if the alternative flight is scheduled to depart more than 24 hours after the original flight's departure, as per the rules.

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